The National Lotteries Control Board's (NLCB) lottery services provider is hosting a coding and robotics youth camp from July 20-29 and August 15-26. The programme's theme is Youth Coding For A Sustainable Future and various Caribbean countries will feature as participants, including: Barbados, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, and two new countries – Antigua and Nevis.
The provider, International Gaming Technology (IGT), collaborated with Mona Geoinformatics Institute (MGI) to help bring the second edition of the programme, dubbed IGT Coding and Robotics Rock! Camp, to life.
In a press release last Wednesday, IGT said the programme's aim is to focus on technological innovations that are capable of reducing social and environmental issues and fuelling sustainable growth within the region.
Brendan Hames, regional director of IGT Caribbean, said the programme should help equip the youth with marketable programming skills he believes will lead to positive development across the region.
"There is a growing realisation among educators that teaching coding and robotics to children and youth will give them valuable skills for life and expose them to innovative uses of technology. Through the IGT Coding & Robotics Rock! Camp, we hope to give our young participants these skills and to guide them in channelling the skillset and their innovativeness towards national development across the Caribbean."
Hames added that, in order to build on the success of the inaugural camp in 2021, IGT intends to deliver training in two levels. Level II training will feature the inaugural cohort, as well as newcomers who already possess an introductory knowledge in coding, and they will participate in a more advanced, two-week camp aimed at building on the fundamentals covered in 2021. Level I training will include newcomers who will be introduced to coding for the first time.
Ava Maxam, acting executive director at MGI, said the institute was positive that the training had helped to instil in the youngsters an appreciation of the potential that existed in that particular field of technology.
"Whether as entrepreneurs or on the corporate level, there is tremendous interest in coding and robotics as career options, and the camp has successfully tapped into and stimulated this even further."
She added: "We have great expectations for a successful renewal."
The release said, since 2011, IGT and its subsidiaries have opened 39 computer labs across the English-speaking Caribbean as part of its After School Advantage (ASA) programme.
"Through initiatives such as this, as well as the IGT Coding & Robotics Rock! Camp, it is IGT's aim to continually enhance the technological awareness of students and prepare them to contribute to the social and infrastructural development of the region."